The COSAFA Women's Championship roars into life tomorrow in Bulawayo, with Zimbabwe beginning their campaign against Madagascar at Barbourfields hoping for another success story after lifting the trophy for the first time in 2011. The tournament will run until September 24 with 12 countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe -- fighting for the honours.
The matches will be at Barbourfields and Luveve.
Zimbabwe are in Group A together with Madagascar, Zambia and Malawi.
The hosts are regular participants in the regional football show-piece while Madagascar are competing for the first time having missed the previous four editions.
And, for local football fans, all eyes will be on the Mighty Warriors who are carrying the nation's hopes.
The senior women side that was camped in Harare since August 20 are now in Bulawayo.
They left their Yadah Hotel complex base on Saturday afternoon for the City of Kings.
Assistant coach Thomas Chinyanganya said he was happy with the way they prepared for the tournament.
"So far so good, we can't complain. This is the final stage of our preparation, I think we have covered quite a lot. So I think we are ready for the tournament.
"I think we decided to retain most of them (the seniors) because of experience since we did not have enough time to call up or to see some of these girls playing for their various clubs," Chinyanganya said.
After their tie against Madagascar, Zimbabwe will then take on two time bronze-medallists and old rivals Zambia on Friday before concluding the group stages with a tie against Malawi on Sunday.
"I think I have only watched Zambia playing, the standard is not that different, I can't complain. I haven't seen Malawi and Madagascar.
"But I mean, according to our strengths I have no complaints, we are ready for them," Chinyanganya said.
The top team in each group and the best-placed runner-up proceed to the semi-finals.
Malawi's best performance in the tournament is fourth position after losing the bronze medal play-off match to East African guest nation Tanzania in 2011. They will be out for a better finish this time around and it will also be a tricky encounter for the Mighty Warriors.
Some of the participating countries are already in the country and ZIFA communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday confirmed that Malawi, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia were already in Bulawayo.
Kenya were expected yesterday while the rest of the countries are expected to be in the country today ahead of the start of the tournament.
Groups Group A: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi.
Group B: Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Swaziland.
Group C: South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana.
Team Goalkeeper: Chido Dzingirai, Manyara Mandara, Precious Mudyiwa.
Defender: Nobuhle Majika (vice-captain), Danai Bhobho, Rufaro Machingura, Sheila Makoto, Nobukhosi Ncube, Lynett Mutokuto.
Midfielders: Eunice Chibanda, Rejoice Kapfumvuti, Marjory Nyaumwe, Daisy Kaitano, Vimbai Mharadzi. Talent Mandaza (captain).
Strikers: Rutendo Makore, Ethel Chinyerere, Priviledge Mupeti, Susan Nyama, Berita Kabwe.